Qatar’s national carrier has announced plans to add more flights to Madrid and use larger aircraft for trips to Italy this summer as it continues to expand its European reach.
Qatar Airways said that it would begin operating Airbus A330s on routes to Milan and Venice, and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to Rome.
The jumbo aircraft will be used for the Rome and Milan routes starting March 29, while Venice will see the bigger planes starting June 16.
Meanwhile, as of July 16, Qatar Airways will add four weekly flights to Madrid’s Barajas Airport using the Boeing 777.
In a statement, Qatar Airways said:
“This announcement to increase flights to a double-daily service to the Spanish capital comes just two months after the successful launch of the 10-weekly service on the Madrid – Doha route (on November 16th) and just weeks after announcing the double-daily scheduled service between Barcelona and Doha, which is set to commence on February 16, 2015.”
Competing with European carriers
Elsewhere in Europe, Qatar Airways this month picked Frankfurt as its first destination to fly the new A350. It is the world’s first airline to fly the planes, which head to the German city twice daily.
Frankfurt is the hub of competitor Lufthansa, which began flying directly to and from Doha in 2011.
Last year, the German airline’s then-CEO said European carriers must rethink the way they do business to better compete with GCC airlines, including Qatar Airways, Etihad and Emirates.
At the time, Christoph Franz said:
“Let’s imagine – purely theoretically – a country in which nothing exists besides sand and a box of money. What do you have to do to develop this country economically? First you have to build a runway and establish a national carrier…”
And finally, the national carrier has also announced plans to launch direct Doha-Amsterdam flights starting June 16.
This will put it in direct competition with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, which launched its direct route in June 2012 and is currently the only operator providing a non-stop flight between Doha and Amsterdam.